Cope with Recovery After Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a major procedure, and recovery doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative recovery instructions.
Discomfort and Pain
You may think that recovering from bariatric surgery will be a long and painful process — but, that’s not usually the case.
The majority of patients have minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, surgery. Surgeons who use a minimally invasive approach create four to five small incisions.
Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive surgery offers:
- A shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery
- Less pain
- Less abdominal trauma
- Less scarring
If you’re concerned about pain after surgery, speak with your surgeon. Your surgeon will discuss the pain management medications that he or she will provide you with after the surgery. Some patients are provided with a system that allows them to control their pain medication with the push of a button.
Browse Real Patients’ Stories to hear about bariatric surgery patients’ experiences with recovery.
Being out of Commission
As with any major surgery, there will be a recovery period. Recovery periods vary from patient to patient and depend on the type of surgery you have.
One study found that laparoscopic gastric bypass patients typically:
- Left the hospital on the second day
- Returned to work at 21 days
Take the time to follow your surgeon’s instructions. For examples of what recovery might be like, view Recovering from Bariatric Surgery.
Your health is worth the time it takes to fully recover. Try not to rush it. After all, your body will be healing from surgery.
|Start Your New Habits Today
Many bariatric programs recommend practicing healthy habits prior to surgery. If you’re not sure where to begin or you want tips, check outHealthy Habits for Success.
Adjusting to New Habits
Bariatric surgery patients are expected to commit to healthy new habits, such as diet and exercise. You won’t have to become a triathlete or figure out these new habits on your own; just follow your bariatric program’s dietary and exercise instructions. Typically, a comprehensive bariatric program will have several healthcare professionals available to help you with new habits. A comprehensive bariatric program may include healthcare professionals such as:
- Bariatric surgeons
- Program coordinators
- Fitness experts
Many patients report that during the first 12 to 18 months following surgery, they enjoy a burst of energy and motivation.
During this time, they are making healthy lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating new foods and smaller portions
- Taking multivitamins and calcium supplements daily
- Exercising regularly
These changes can be overwhelming, but they are not impossible to make. Attend a support group — you might draw inspiration from listening to other people’s stories. JFK for Life Bariatric Support Group meetings are normally held the second Wednesday and third Thursday of every month from 6:30-7:30pm at the JFK for Life offices, 98 James Street, Suite 212, Edison NJ. It is run by the JFK for Life Program Coordintor and a Registered Dietician and has guest speakers on topics of interest to bariatric patients. The Bariatric Support Group schedule page is kept current with any schedule changes.